ASK ANN

"We currently have traffic mitigation fees on new home and commercial construction. Does anyone have any information on traffic mitigation fees that are assessed on recreational destinations such as ski resorts? This might include a small surcharge on ticket sales."

Great question. Seems like a good idea. Since we don't have many ski resorts in Missouri or Kansas, I'm at a loss. If you have any suggestions, please contact our writer at trafficman@starband.net or you can share it with me at adaniels@apwa.net.

"Is all the paper recycling we're encouraging really paying off? It seems like there was a goal sometime ago to recycle at least 50% of the paper made in our country. Did it work or are we just collecting this for it to be dumped in landfills, anyway?"

There's good news and there's great news! For the first time since goals were set in 1995, more than half of all paper made in the U.S. was recycled here or overseas. It's a mark the industry has worked towards for years. The American Forest & Paper Association said that paper recovery hit 50.3 percent for 2003 and totaled 49.3 million tons of fiber. That's a 69% increase since 1990 when only a third of all paper in the U.S. was recycled. The great news is that the industry expects to reach 55 percent by 2012. Keep on encouraging your residents and businesses to recycle that paper. Just think how much landfill space has been saved each year.

"I ordered the Self Assessment/Accreditation software at Congress in Atlanta last year. Is it ever going to be ready?"

Yes. Yes. Yes. Finally, it has been completed and tested and back orders have been shipped. The software is on a CD-ROM and utilizes Microsoft Word which makes it much more user friendly than the former Access versions. Let me know if you have ordered it and not yet received it.

"I am looking for options used by other agencies to remove settled silt/sand in stormwater holding ponds. It's pretty easy to clean it from small ponds using large long stick backhoes, but my question is what methods are being used to clean larger ones that backhoes cannot reach?" Gerald Kaeter, Assistant Director of operations, St. Cloud, MN

One option, which I know you have already considered, is de-watering. This is pretty time consuming for a large pond and there should be other methods that would cut the length of time and increase efficiency. Another suggestion comes from Tim Kraus who suggests requiring the developer to line the pond with sufficient breaker rock to support the weight of any future maintenance equipment. This alternative would remove some of the guesswork out of "how much material needs to be removed" allowing you to excavate down to the breaker so that you are back to the design capacity of the pond. This solution was offered on infoNOW. If you have something further to offer, you might contact Gerald at gkaeter@ci.stcloud.mn.us. Thanks to Tim for his response.

"In the near future we will have our first parking garage. I'm wondering how one removes snow off of the top open level? Ours will have streets and sidewalks on three sides and a narrow alley on the fourth. We average over 80 inches of snow per year." John Vandelinder, Bozeman, MT

I'm guessing a city-wide snowball fight might not be a good idea? Probably not. I do know of a couple situations where heat lines have been installed in the surface of the lot but I doubt this would be too effective with the large amount of snow you receive each year. Other places do it the old fashioned way with a small Bobcat and a truck to haul it all down to a snow storage area. I'm sure there are probably some other better ideas and would welcome your sharing them with me and others or you may communicate directly with John at jvandelinder@bozeman.net.

"While looking through the Management Practices Manual, I noticed there is a chapter on Parks, Grounds and Forestry. I'm just curious as to how forestry became part of public works."

Many public works agencies are responsible for developing a comprehensive landscape management plan for the public rights-of-way and public grounds. "Forestry" encompasses the maintenance and operations activities related to trees and shrubs in these areas. For more details check Chapter 18 of the Public Works Management Practices Manual available in our bookstore at www.apwa.net.

Ask Ann...

Questions are welcome.

Please address all inquiries to:

Ann Daniels
Director of Technical Services
APWA, 2345 Grand Blvd.
Suite 500
Kansas City, MO 64108-2625
Fax questions to (816) 472-0405
E-mail:
adaniels@apwa.net